Zimbabwe

Covid-19 hits rural communities

Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau

The second wave of Covid-19 has impacted rural communities, which were previously seen as safe havens, with many positive cases and deaths reported since the beginning of the year.

Most rural areas have reported cases of Covid-19, especially those sharing borders with neighbouring countries.

Mashonaland West province, which recorded 20 deaths last Thursday is fretting over the rate of infections.

Mhangura constituency in Makonde District has since January 5 recorded over 37 positive cases and one death.

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Makonde district medical director, Dr Paradzai Mudzengerere said the second wave of the pandemic, which prompted Government to reintroduce lockdown Level Four at the beginning of the year, has been devastating.

“The current figures that we recorded in the district as from this year alone are alarming. As at January 13, the whole district had recorded 132 cases with over five deaths.

“Unlike the previous phase where the cases were low and most remote areas not recording any cases, Mhangura constituency for example, which is mostly rural, has recorded 37 cases with one death since the announcement of the lockdown this year,” he said.

He deplored the complacency levels in rural areas and called on communities to adhere to the lockdown regulations of wearing facing masks in public areas, maintaining social distance, washing hands regularly with soap and staying indoors except when going to seek medical attention and buying food, or working in the essential services sector.

Zvimba district medical director, Dr Terrence Dandadzi confirmed the surge in cases in the district in the second wave.

He said despite the announcement of Level Four lockdown, people have remained defiant.

A curfew from 6pm to 6am is in force, but some people still wander around the main roads and residential areas.

Mhangura legislator, Cde Precious Chinhamo-Masango, has partnered with the health department including the Environmental Health Technician (EHT) and laboratory technicians to embark on a massive campaign and testing drive using the party vehicle.

The Herald caught up with the team at Windsork Farm in Ward 5 of the constituency last week raising Covid-19 awareness.

Windsork Farm is the place where a truck driver died upon arrival, although tests proved he didn’t die of the pandemic.

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Cde Chinhamo-Masango called on communities to abide by the lockdown regulations to minimise the spread of the virus, and consequently save lives.

HERALD